Meet Jaqwan, aka @senseigod, a collector of 16+ years who loves SBs and has plenty of grail tales. Read below to peep his current rotation, hear stories about how he copped his grails, and more.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR SNEAKER JOURNEY; HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COLLECTING?
I've been collecting since about 2006. The first shoe I picked up that made me want to start collecting sneakers was the 'Mork and Mindy' SBs (RIP Robin Williams). After grabbing that first pair, I kept trying to find any SB I could because, at that time, Jordan's and Foams were huge and stylish but too pricey for my blood, so Nike SBs were the best of both worlds for me.
WHAT SHOE PICK-UP MADE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU EARNED THE SNEAKERHEAD/SNEAKER COLLECTOR LABEL?
I'd have to say my Yeezy 2's. I have shoes I value more, but during the 2012 era, it was a battle, and much dedication was needed to get that shoe. A pair of Nike Yeezys, be it 1 or 2, was like winning the lottery. So having a pair showed you put in some sort of work for the shoes.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BRAND, OR BETTER YET - FAVORITE MODEL WITHIN THE BRAND?
I love Jordan 3's, but Nike SBs got my heart. They are affordable for any new or old collector and timeless. Comfortability is a given because they're skateboarding sneakers, and even when beat down, they look good.
YOU HAVE SOME EXTREMELY VALUABLE SHOES IN YOUR COLLECTION. NOT ONLY DO YOU WEAR EVERYTHING - YOU'RE ALSO NOT AFRAID TO BEAT THEM UP. WHERE DID THIS FEARLESSNESS COME FROM?
I used to be so bent on keeping my shoes clean, so I could trade or sell them, but as I got older, the game started to get more advanced - or, let's say, tighter. The hassle wasn't worth me trading or selling anymore because you would have people try to lowball or scam you. After all, sneakers were getting harder to obtain. I found it more of a flex anyway to have a pair of beat heat, a sneaker everyone wants, but you effortlessly destroy them because it's just another shoe.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE FIVE SHOES YOU HIGHLIGHTED FOR THIS FEATURE. WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?
My Air Max 95 'Human Torch' was one of the first sneakers my homies and I copped as a collective. That made me want to collect more. The
'Skunk' SBs were needed for obvious reasons, for a higher lifestyle, if you feel me. The 'Galaxy' Foamposite was the first bad sneaker L that made me want to go harder. I got them a week later for retail due to a coworker getting them for someone who didn't want them anymore. I got the Air Max 1 'Tiger Camo' by trading my 'Area 72' LeBron 10's and $100 to a great friend. They were released only in Japan but imported to the atmos store in Harlem only for the workers. I was lucky he didn't like them as much as I did. My Union Jordan 4 'Desert Moss' is the most comfortable Jordan I'veI've stepped foot in. They also remind me of Kobe Bryant's (RIP) first team he was drafted to and the team he stayed with, the Hornets and Lakers. All these sneakers made me feel or had some sentimental value as to how I obtained them. These shoes will never leave my collection even when the glue and pieces fall apart.
WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT THE OLD SNEAKER CULTURE?
I miss the campouts, but most of all, when people liked a shoe, not because of price or a celebrity wearing it. People who understood got it, and those who didn't would learn the legit way by getting out there. Now it's about who's paying who and politics.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE CURRENT SNEAKER CULTURE?
I like the fact it's still going. Even though I slowed down, seeing the same game being played differently is awesome.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 PICKS ON OUR WEBSITE RIGHT NOW?
My top 3 picks right now would have to be the Hello Kitty Prestos, Air Force 1 'Cork,' and the Cole Haan x atmos Oxfords 'Instinct.'